The Wayfarer

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Home Sufism The Way Ibn 'Arabi on Anger

Ibn 'Arabi on Anger

Anger and its manifestations are one of the great sins if aroused by wrongs done to you personally. But it is permissable and right  and a part of correct behaviour and good character to become angry because of something done against Allah and his divine precepts, to manifest it, and to fight for Allah's sake.

If you wish to find the truth and have Allah's pleasure and support in it, then avoid being negative and control your temper and anger. If you cannot stop anger, at least do not show it. When you do this, you will please Allah and disappoint the devil. You will begin it educate your ego and straighten and shorten your path. Anger is a result and a sign of the ego not being under control, like a mean wild animal, untied and uncaged. As you hold your temper, it is as if you put a bridle on its head and barriers around it. You begin then to tame it, teach it how to behave, to obey, so that it cannot hurt others or itself (because it is part of you).

When this discipline reflects from you, revealing someone who can control his temper and hold his anger, your adversary will be calmed. You will not be reacting to his provocations. You will not be punishing him or responding to his negativity, but ignoring it. This is more effective than punishing him. He may be led to see the reality of his acts, to realise what is fair, and to confess his faults.

Give heed to this advice and make it a habit. if you do, you will certainly see the positive result and the rewards here and in the hereafter. You will be the winner on the day when your deeds will be weighed. That is the greatest reward and the greatest grace that you will receive. For if you hold your temper, the All-Just will also hold back his punishment for your sins, which are punishable by His divine wrath. Your forgiving will be rewarded by His forgiving you. What better benefit may one expect for effort in bearing hardship caused by your brothers and sisters in faith.

Allah will treat you the way He has ordered you to treat others. So try to assume the good qualtiies of being just, peaceful, helpful, gentle and loving. Persist in these qualities; act with them. You will see that this character will spread from you to others around you, creating harmony, mutual love and respect. The Beloved of Allah, our master the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), orders us to love each other, to be in a continuous loving state. He repeats this in so many ways, in so many statements. To  leave anger, to replace it with bearing hardship, with forgiving, with caring for the one who causes the hardship, is one of the cornerstones of the foundation of love.

From 'What the Seeker Needs' by Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi, translated by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak and Rabia Harris.


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